Sustainable Timber Purchasing Policy
Silva Timber Products is committed to the pursuit of best practice in the purchase of sustainable timber products.
This means that when sourcing timber products we will make all attempts to:
- Give preference to timber products which carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification or equivalent trademark.
- Not purchase illegally sourced timber or endangered species.
- Not purchase timber harvested in forests where high conservation values are threatened by management activities.
- Not purchase timber harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use.
- Not purchase timber from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.
- Work with FSC and equivalent bodies to promote the use of sustainable timber products
What is Sustainable Timber
Sustainable timber is that which is legally sourced from ‘well managed forests’. This can be established by regular monitoring and a chain of custody linking forest to end use which recognises, amongst other things, indigenous people’s rights and protection of biodiversity.
Sustainable Sourcing of Timber
Forest management can be environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial, but it can also be environmentally and socially damaging. Deck Supply Co. recognises its responsibility as an importer of forest products, to ensure that our company has a neutral if not positive effect on the world’s forests.
Addressing the threats facing the world’s forests is highly complex and requires a number of measures such as improving government regulation, reducing wasteful consumption, establishing protected areas and finding incentives for responsible long term management. The Forest Stewardship Council plays an important role in this by overseeing a system of forest certification and product labelling.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Accreditation
FSC is a world wide, independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, representing environmental and social groups and the timber and forestry industry. It aims to generate certification of forestry activity that incorporates clear guidelines and standards covering social, environmental and economic aspects of forest management. So far 18 million hectares of forest have been certified worldwide and 21 countries are supplying FSC accredited timber to the UK.
Silva Timber is committed to maintaining chain of custody.
The FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification system provides an audit trail from forest to final use. The rigour of the system is ensured by regular independent inspection at all stages in the supply chain.
Silva Timber Products meets the requirements for FSC Chain of Custody Standard FSC – STD – 40 – 004 (2004) within the BM TRADA Certification Limited Scheme for TRADA – Trak chain of custody certification.
Certificate number: TT-COC-002296
Other Certification Schemes
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC)
The PEFC Council is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.
Silva Timber Products meets the requirements for PEFC Chain of Custody within the BM TRADA Certification Limited Scheme for TRADA – Trak chain of custody certification.
Certificate number: BMT–PEFC-0319
Silva Timber Products is committed to the pursuit of best practice in the purchase of sustainable timber products. We understand the impact that forestry has on the environment and we ensure that all of our timber is legally sourced from well managed forests, protecting both biodiversity and the indigenous people's rights. We source our Western Red Cedar products from British Columbia (BC) on the West Coast of Canada. BC forests are among the most stringently regulated in the world and are world leaders in preserving sensitive ecosystems.
Why use wood?
Silva Timber promotes the increased usage of environmentally certified wood in construction. So why is building with wood better for the environment?
It costs less to build energy-efficient buildings in wood
Wood from sustainably managed forest has the lowest carbon footprint of any mainstream building material
The more wood you use, the lower the carbon footprint of your building
Using more timber saves more CO2
Wood can make a building carbon neutral - or better
Wood has the best thermal insulation properties of any mainstream construction material
Sustainability of Building Materials
|Total Energy Use||Lowest||140% more||70% more|
|Greenhouse Gases||Lowest||45% more||81% more|
|Air Pollution||Lowest||42% more||67% more|
|Water Pollution||Lowest||1900% more||90% more|
|Solid Waste||Lowest||36% more||96% more|
|Ecological Resourse Use||Lowest||16% more||97% more|
Source: The Athena Sustainable Materials Incentive
Wood surpasses steel and concrete in energy efficiency through its qualities of:
Reducing our carbon footprint
There are two ways to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere:
Reducing emissions from energy use.
Removing CO2 and storing it: reducing 'carbon sources' and increasing 'carbon sinks'.
Wood has the unique ability to do both.
Reducing carbon emissions
Every cubic metre of wood used as a substitute for other building materials reduces CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by an average of 1,1 t CO2. If this is added to the 0,9 t of CO2 stored in wood, each cubic metre of wood saves a total of 2 t CO2. Based on these figures, a 10% increase in the percentage of wooden houses in Europe would produce sufficient CO2 savings to account for about 25% of the reductions prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol.
As the amount of CO2 emitted from combustion is no more than the amount previously stored, burning wood is carbon neutral, a fact well understood by the wood industry which derives up to 75% of the energy it uses to process wood from wood by-products.
Increasing carbon sinks
Each year mankind contributes 7,900 million tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere, of which the carbon sinks absorb 4,600 million tonnes, leading to an annual net increase of 3,300 million tonnes.
This imbalance is so acute that it will not be enough simply to reduce carbon sources, as required by the Kyoto Protocol, carbon sinks will also have to be increased, and one of the simplest ways to increase carbon sinks is to increase the use of wood.
Managed forests are more efficient carbon sinks than forests which are left in a natural state. Younger trees, in vigorous growth, absorb more CO2 than mature trees, which will eventually die and rot, returning their store of CO2 to the atmosphere, while most of the CO2 of the trees harvested from a managed forest continues to be stored throughout the life of the resulting wood product.
Wood products as a carbon store
Wood products, such as Decking, Cladding and Trellis are carbon stores, rather than carbon sinks, as they do not themselves capture CO2 from the atmosphere. But they take an important part in enhancing the effectiveness of the forest sinks, both by extending the period that the CO2 captured by the forests is kept out of the atmosphere and by encouraging increased forest growth.
According to recent estimates, the average life of wood products varies between 2 months for newspapers and 75 years for structural wood. The longer, the better for the environment, not least because it makes better use of forest resources, but also because it reduces the energy necessary for replacing the products concerned.
Transportation of wood - 'wood miles'
Initially it may seem that such shipping timber long distances must be a significant negative factor in the overall carbon footprint of wood products from North America to the UK. Research studies have however determined wood from anywhere in Canada, east or west coast, still has much more carbon stored in it than was emitted in its transportation to the UK, creating a better than carbon neutral building material.
Western Red Cedar
Silva Timber's Western Red Cedar is responsibly and sustainably harvested in publicly managed forests of British Columbia, Canada.
The province has exceeded United Nations guidelines by setting aside 12% of its land base as parkland.
Less than 1/3 of 1% of British Columbia's Cedar growing stock volume is harvested each year.
For each tree harvested, three are replanted, resulting in more forests in North America than 100 years ago.
Timber, and Western Red Cedar specifically, has the least impact on the environment throughout its life cycle.
Canada has maintained 91% of its original forest cover, more than any other country in the world, whilst also being a world leader in the production of forest products for over a century.
Canada's forest cover relates to:
310 million hectares of forest land.
Of this, 144 million hectares are considered accessible and most likely to be subject to forest management activities
Less than 1 million hectares are harvested annually, compared to 2 million hectares of forested land burned by forest fires in Canada in 2006.
The environmental implications in using Siberian Larch are positive. The annual growth of Siberian Larch is greater than the annual felling rate. Annual growth is estimated to be 800 million cubic meters per year, while the allowable logging threshold to maintain sustainability is projected to be 500 million cubic meters. Presently, only 100 million cubic meters are being cut annually!